Like many contractors during the pandemic, brothers Jeff and Stephen Strait, owners and operators of our newest ABC member, Sparkle Blinds, found themselves in a health crisis. No, it wasn’t necessarily COVID, although that certainly complicated things. It was brother Stephen’s kidney failure and the only immediate match, his brother Jeff—now what is a company to do? With the future of their 20+ year company in the balance and Stephen’s declining health, they decided to recruit Jeff’s wife, Tanya Strait, to help run the company while both brothers underwent these crucial operations. An operation that would likely determine not only Stephen’s future, but the future of the company.
“Stressful does not quite explain what our family was going through,” said Tanya Strait, operations manager for Sparkle Blinds. “We had literally decided to undergo the transplant, I left my job with Trinity Health to help with the business and then COVID hits. We were so uncertain about how to proceed but were blessed that Stephen was literally the last transplant surgery conducted before they locked things down and postponed future procedures. Thank goodness it worked, and Stephen and Jeff would recover, but it would take months for both to return to work in any meaningful way. That was when I realized my calling.”
Tanya, who previously was a revenue analyst, believes something good came of all this turmoil, she realized she loved working in the family business. In short order, she found herself front and center as the new face for her family’s company. Networking, marketing, a robust social media campaign, and advertising were all avenues she explored during the solo-tenure and when the brothers returned to see both their revenues and client base had grown made a mutual decision—she was there to stay!
“These guys are the heart and soul of this company,” said Tanya. “I am proud to be a part of this success and frankly don’t see myself doing anything else. It was funny that both Jeff and Stephen said the same thing—‘don’t plan on leaving anytime soon.’ I love working with the team, customers, vendors, and suppliers—creating those relationships that allow us to be profitable, but without sacrificing quality. I feel like our products are as good as anyone’s, but our service and value are second to none.”
Sparkle Blinds is a family-owned and operated business who has dedicated over 20 years to offering convenient and affordable on-site blind cleaning/repairs and free consultations for new blinds/window treatment for your home or business!
Sparkle offers both commercial and residential service and product. Featuring shutters, zebra shades, and roller/solar shades are just a few window blinds that Sparkle Blinds can provide a free consultation for, right at your home or business! Best of all Tanya explained they use local manufactures and US-made products whenever they can.
“I have found local manufactures can provide, in most cases, even better quality than the ‘big-name’ brands and at a fraction of the cost,” said Tanya. “Best of all we are supporting local companies who are supplying US-made products to our customers. Helping our customers is our mission and being an active, contributing force in our community is our passion. So in that instance I guess we really do ‘sparkle.’”
Sparkles Blinds services the following Michigan locations: Macomb, Clinton Twp, Shelby Twp, Sterling Heights, Utica, Chesterfield, New Baltimore, Rochester, Washington, Oakland, Warren, Roseville, Fraser, Troy, St. Clair Shores, Grosse Pointe, Harrison Twp, Bloomfield Hills, Franklin. They can be reached at (586) SPARKLE.